ORIGINAL REPORTING: How To Grow The U.S. Electron Superhighway
The U.S. needs more transmission. One Midwest project could provide a collaborative model; A new report outlines how 11 utilities leaped big hurdles to build the 800-mile CapX2020 project
Herman K. Trabish, May 23, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s Note: The Trump administration is promising to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. It’s electron superhighway would be a good place to start.
…Whether the U.S. energy future is natural gas plants, renewables, or a combination of the two, the generation fleet is turning over and the nation will need a lot more transmission in the near future. The EIA projects the retirement of at least 40 GW of coal generation through 2040 and utility-scale renewables growth could account for as much as 283 GW of new capacity. With the time needed to build new transmission averaging five to ten years, delivering these new generation resources will not be easy. But one project in the Midwest involving nearly a dozen utilities provided a blueprint for future projects…
Planning and CapX2020; Building trust to build regional transmission systems details the formulation and growth of CapX2020, a collaboration of 11 Midwestern utilities that has brought a $2.1 billion, 800-mile high-voltage transmission system to the verge of completion across Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas “to ensure that electricity consumers pay the lowest price possible for reliable service.” The last sections are expected to go online in 2017, on budget and three years ahead of schedule. After evaluating alternative scenarios, the developers chose lines that met utilities’ and regulators’ three key justifications for new infrastructure: keeping the lights on, serving projected 15-year load growth, and delivering new renewables to meet state mandates… click here for more
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